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Shooter in Hrant Dink case sentenced to 22 years in jail

(BIANET/IFEX) - On 25 July 2011, Ogun Samast received a prison sentence of 22 years and 10 months handed down by the Istanbul 2nd Juvenile Criminal Court for the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Dink was the founder and then editor-in-chief of the Armenian "Agos" newspaper. He was killed in front of his office in Istanbul on 19 January 2007.

The prosecution had demanded prison terms of between 18 years and eight months and 26 years under allegations of premeditated murder and unlicensed possession of weapons. The Istanbul court decided on imprisonment of 21.5 years on charges of premeditated murder and an additional 16 months on charges of unlicensed possession of weapons.

The defence lawyers seemed to be satisfied with the sentence remaining below the upper limit.

Samast argued that he had been dragged towards crime as a result of poor education. He claimed that Yasin Hayal, accused of instigating the Dink murder, exploited this situation and directed him accordingly. In his speech of defence, Samast also said that he had been influenced by some newspaper articles. He pointed to certain theories conveyed by the media at the time and stated that these writings made up 54 percent of the responsibility for the criminal act he committed.

His defence speech comprised a total of 44 pages. Samast's personal defence went over 29 pages; the remaining part included the defence speeches prepared by his two lawyers. Samast referred to the German philosopher Hegel several times.

The defence lawyers have the right to appeal within seven days. Meanwhile, the trial against Ogun Samast on charges of "membership in an illegal organization" is still pending.

At the end of the hearing, Samast reacted to the court decision with a mixture of puzzlement and tension on his face. Defence lawyer Sebu Aslangil commented, "It suddenly dawned on him that he was convicted".

Case history

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